Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thankful Thursday (Where)

I have a little time this morning, before the big feast, to do a small post.

My thankful Thursday (Where) is a couple of different places. First, I'm very thankful for Utah and its beautiful variety of places. I love that if I drive a few hours in any direction, I get a totally different view.

I'm thankful for this place:

My Grandparents own this little slice of heaven. We call it the cabin. It's a second home to my whole family. It's where we grew up. We would run around all summer and explore. Sled every hill in the winter. And, of course, everything thing in between. This is my "Green Gables" (for those of you who know Anne of Green Gables. If you haven't seen it, GO WATCH IT NOW!) 

And what a beautiful view we have. We are so blessed!

And then there is this place:

If you're a boater, you probably know where this is. If not, it's Lake Powell. Again one of the most beautiful places on earth. I seriously hope that Heaven has lakes and boats because this is what I would like to spend doing for much of my eternity. I spent every summer, up until I was a teenager, going to Lake Powell with my family. I'm not exaggerating when I say most of my favorite memories were on a boat. It's part of my comfort zone. (except for very large fish. I don't know what it is but they freak me out.) 

Yep, that's me and Trevon. We are pretty awesome :)

I'm so glad I got to link up for Thankful Thursday. It's been a fun thing to do and It's helped me remember things i'm thankful for. 

Thanks Carrie, Katie and Jamie for the opportunity. 

Where are your favorite places? Where are you thankful for?

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Thankful Thursday (what and when)

Since I started a little late on Thankful Thursday, I decided to combine the what and the when today.
There are so many things that I take for granted everyday and I'm glad I have the chance to sit down and think about the things I'm thankful for.
Starting with the what. I'm thankful for The house I live in. For a year and a half, we lived with my grandpa and with my parents. That was one of the hardest things for our little family to do. It was surprisingly hard to live with family. I love them, but when you're trying to raise a family of your own it's just hard. We didn't get to decorate the way we wanted. We all shared a room for a good amount of time. I didn't get to make a nursery or make new dinners for my family. And I always felt like a guest. (When did "coming home" feel so much like not being home?) After that time we were so blessed that the place we have now landed in our laps. We are still close enough to family that we play with cousins and I see my sister and mom at least twice a week. But we have our own place. When I don't feel like cleaning, I don't have to clean. When I feel like staying up and watching a movie, I can with out waking people up. I do laundry on the days that I want. We have the thermostat set to where we want! Above that, I have a place to call mine. I'm not out on the streets worrying about my kids. I don't feel like a bother to others. And, oh, how nice it is to just be able to go home when I need to be away from my family. (Because we all have those days). It's where my kids feel safe. It's where we make memories.

Now for the when. This one is hard because I'm so thankful for so many times in my life. I'm thankful for the day my husband got home from his mission. It's what I think about every time we have some kind of argument. I'm thankful for the day we got married. The day I had my Jay girl, the day I had Mags. I'm thankful for the day I decided I needed some help to let go of some things in the past, and I started therapy. So many things. But today I'm thankful for when my daughters get along with each other. I love seeing them play together. I love hearing them laugh together. I love when we are all happy enough to just sit and play on the floor together, or cuddle in our orange chair together. I'm thankful for when I'm the happy mom. Sometimes I don't get to be that mom. Every mom has days like that. Sometimes we have days where all we do is cry and throw fits and fight with each other. Or spend the day taking turns in time out. But today, we haven't done any of that (yet). And I'm thankful for that.

Linked up with JamieKatie and Carrie

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

blogging for books:Blue Ribbon Baking from a Redneck Kitchen

I'm really excited about this book I got from Blogging for Books 

It has a ton of really easy good recipes in it.

Look how many I want to make...oh boy

 I wish it had a few more pictures of the recipes but it only has a few every now and then. However, it has very easy to follow directions. It's also fun to read the behind story on why that recipe was chosen for the book or how she got the recipe in the first place. This is a book I'll be using all season long this year and for a lot of years to come! In fact, I'm making pie this weekend and I'm going to be using one of these recipes. So I will be posting about that pretty soon here. 

If you're interested in this book check this link

Monday, November 17, 2014

Here it is. The jean quilt

I wish I would have started blogging before I started this project because I would have had a lot more pictures. Either way, I will explain how to make this quilt. What I like about this jean quilt is that it's not just boring old squares like most other jean quilts. This one has pattern because of the blocks. I saw the idea on this blog, and altered it just a little to fit what I was wanting from this quilt.

This block is called the disappearing 9 patch. If you google it you can find a ton of good tutorials on how to get started.

First you gather a bunch of old jeans....really, a ton. Then you cut them up. There are better ways to cut up jeans than I knew at first so I feel like I wasted a lot of jean at the beginning. But, you can also look that up too and find better ways to do it so you don't waste a lot.

Then after you have as much jean as you can get from your stash. I had 16 blocks so I cut around 200 squares so that I would have a good variety of combinations to work with. Then I used what I had left to cut the strips. Now, I didn't really measure the length of each strip. I just made sure that it was at least 17 inches long. I did make all the strips 3 inches wide though.

Next, lay out your squares in groups of nine. Again Creative Chicks has a good picture of this. Sorry, I don't. Then sew them together. When you're sewing them together, take 2 squares and put the right sides together and sew a strait stitch down one side. Then add the third square, on the same row. Do that to all three rows. Make sure you iron each seem. It makes sewing all of it together so much easier. Then you sew the rows together the same way. Row one and Row two with right sides together, then add row three. Do that with all the squares.

Then you're going to cut the squares right down the middle twice. This is what makes it a "disappearing" 9 patch. Then you just rotate the squares to get the pattern you want and you sew them together like you did the first time except this time you'll only have four blocks instead of nine.

Once all of those are sewn together, you need to play them out so you can put them in the pattern you want. This is where I started taking pictures :) . Lay the strips out too.

Sew the strips onto the blocks. Wait to sew the boarder on last though. I sewed the top strip and the side strip to all of the block first. Then I sewed the blocks all together before I sewed the boarder on.

When everything is sewn together, you need to pick out a backing and batting (the inside of the quilt). I used flannel. Its the most common fabric to use for these quilts and many other quilts. It's soft and warm. And I just got a small bag of thin batting from Joanns. The worst part of quilting for me is the math. I've never been good at math. This is what usually overwhelms me in piecing a quilt and I end up having my cousin and grandma help piece it so I can quilt it. Anyway, my point is DON'T PANIC! If you need help with the math, don't be scared to ask the people who are cutting the fabric for you. I love the Fabric Mill in Orem, Ut. They are always very good to help. But if you don't have one of those where you live. The people at the cutting counter should still know how to help you decide on the amount of material you need, if you let them know the size of the top or even how big the blocks are and how many you have of them. Make sure to get extra for the binding.

So, because of the way fabric is sold, you almost always have to sew your backing together to make it fit your quilt. This is a great chart to help. Again, if you have questions you  only need to ask someone. They will be happy to help.

Then you're going to pin it all over with those big safety pins. 

And start the tying. You can youtube a tutorial but all you really do is tie a square not and then cut the yarn. I'd use a medium weight yarn. I used a heavy weight and ended up having to divide the strands in half to make it thin enough to get through. Tape the end of the yarn to thread it through the needle if you need too. I did my ties on the back but you can do it either way. 

Once you have it all tied, you're going to bind it. This was the hardest part for me because jean is so hard to had sew through but it was worth the work. So instead of making a binding, I just folded the extra backing up over a little of the jean and hand stitched it. Make sure you cut the batting to the size of the top but leave about an inch of the backing to bind with. I folded the binding over a little bit and then folded it again over the jean. That way it wasn't a raw edge showing. Start by grabbing a little of the jean underneath the binding and then work the needle up through the edge of the binding.

Thats it! It seems like a lot of work, but this is a great starter quilt because its pretty forgiving. And look how good it turned out! 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Thankful Thursday

I found another fun link up for November today called Thankful Thursdays. So Today I'm so thankful for my cousins. Some people don't even know their cousins and I have always thought that was the weirdest thing. Seriously? How can you NOT know your cousins? Anyway, I have so many cousins, and honestly no favorite. I'm sure no one believes that but really, all of them are my favorite.

Growing up, I had seven, yes, seven cousins my age. And they are all girls! Imagine the drama of the pre-teen/teen years. But heres the thing, when you are best friends with your cousins, it's the best because all seven us were more like sisters than cousins. Trevon teases me about always saying "so-and-so, yeah she's more like a sister to me." Because I say that a lot.

(as you can see my wedding day was crazy windy)

So this is all but one of us. Annalisha didn't make it to my wedding but we still love her. I know this post probably isn't all that interesting to most of you but I'm writing it because it's important to me. These girls got me through some of the worst days of my life. They are all great examples to me and I love them all for who they are. 

If you don't know your cousins, or you just don't have cousins as cool as mine, I'm sorry. I'm truly so lucky. We had so much fun growing up. We knew everything about each other and we all knew what each other was going through. There has never been a day that I haven't thought of, seen, or talked to at least one of my cousins. We literally grew up with in a few blocks of each other (except for Ash and Annalisha, they were the only ones out of state).  We all went to the same schools and in high school we took the same classes. We definitely had days where we fought and didn't get a long but the next day was a new day and it was like nothing had ever happened. We also knew what kind of treat to take each other as an apology or to help each other feel better. 

I don't know what I would do with out these girls! I love them all. 

Thanks for the link up CarrieKatie, and Jamie

p.s. I don't know how to put a button on my post....anyone have any tips so I can add it here? 
Do any of you have friends like my cousins?

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Zep review

 So, as I mentioned before, I use a website called Crowdtap. One of the products I got last week to test out and review was Zep cleaner.

They sent me 5 of these little bottles of cleaner. Three All-Around cleaner and two Quick Disinfectant. So on saturday while doing my weekly deep clean I decided to try them out. The directions say that you can use them on several different surfaces, I tried it in my bathroom. 

I wanted to like this so much more than I did. I felt like it only cleaned one thing in my bathroom, the sink hardware, and everything else I re-cleaned afterwords. 

 Before                                                                   After

It didn't even get some dried toothpaste off of my counter but I didn't take a picture of that. So, I wont be using this product again.  Usually the products I receive from Crowdtap I end up enjoying and using again and again.

Has anyone ever used Zep? Is there a "place" it works best?

Monday, November 10, 2014

fresh garden tomatoes

This is going to be pretty brief but I wanted to share this anyway. I love fresh tomatoes. Especially Early Girl tomatoes. I had two tomato plants in my very small garden this year and I was getting really bummed all summer because only my Roma tomatoes were growing. Then, out of nowhere, I started getting Early Girls to grow. It was late August! I was really worried that they wouldn't ripen before the frost so that I could enjoy them. Well, I mentioned this to my grandma one day and it turns out that you CAN get your tomatoes to ripen inside.  Ok, I knew that once they started to ripen that they would finish just fine inside but, hello!? So I picked all the good sized tomatoes I could find from my plant, I put them in a bucket and put them under my kitchen sink. I looked in there today to check on them and look at how beautifully red they are turning.

I will have fresh tomatoes through the rest of the fall. This makes me so happy. Am I the only person who didn't know you could do this with tomatoes? If not, I hope all the tomato lovers out there keep this tip in mind. No more throwing out tomatoes from frostbite! 

Are there any other garden secrets like this I should know?

Thursday, November 6, 2014


I saw this post on a few other blogs and though what a fun idea is that! so here I am, learning how to link up with other bloggers and all.

Wishlisting: Where do I begin? There are lots but right now the two that come to mind are a sewing machine. I've always had to borrow one when I'm quilting, now I want my own. Also I'm currently wishlisting Harry Potter Land. How fun would that be? I know I'm a little old to be getting into that kind of thing so much. My husband teases me on a daily basis about how much I love HP. But seriously, I'd love it.

Creating: a jean quilt. It's going to be awesome and when it's all done I will post about it. (See why I want a sewing machine) It's getting close so stay tuned to see how it turns out!

Reading: The Giver. I know I'm a little late coming to the party on this one. It's my first time reading it but I am loving this book. In fact, I'm going to go finish it when I'm done here.

Loving: Hi Chew. Super addicting. I bought a bag for Halloween and have so many left over. I've had so many of them.

Appreciating: My family. Those of you who know me know that family is so important to me. I grew up with my cousins being my best friends and my grandparents, aunts, and uncles there when I needed them. Short story example: When Trevon and i moved from my Grandpa's house to my parents house (longer story for later) I had around 10 people there to help us move 3 houses down. And that just one example. The list of them is endless. My dad, for example is helping us make J's Christmas gift (again, more later)

What are you guys wishing for, creating, reading, loving and appreciating right now? 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Our Halloween

Our Halloween was great this year. The day before, we went to a little carnival put on by the assisted living home that my grandpa is living in. It was a fun, little carnival and the kids all had a good time. There was a story teller and some fun games for them to play. After the carnival we went back to our church and caught the last tiny bit of a trunk or treat going on. The girls were pretty tired after that so it was to bed for them as soon as we got home.

Halloween was a pretty lazy day for the first half of the day. We just sat around and relaxed and then got ready to go to our annual "Skeleton Soup Party" that  my grandma has put on for years. I love this tradition! Skeleton soup is any soup you want, you just add plastic skeletons and spider rings right before you serve it so that while the kids eat it, they find little surprises in it.  Everyone dresses up. Even my aunts and uncles dress up. This year the girls costumes were a huge hit!

If you haven't seen the movie A League Of Their Own, go watch it. Right now. It is seriously one of my favorite movies of all time. My girls were the Rockford Peaches.
My mother in law is an excellent seamstress and she made these costumes for me. We found a pattern for it here. I did the patches differently. Instead of ironing them straight on the dress (I wanted to reuse the dresses) I ironed them on white felt with design and iron paper and then Girlie Glued them on the dress so that they would just come right off in the wash. They turned out so perfectly cute!

I wish I would have gotten so cute pictures of the back of the dress but we were rushed for time. By the time we got around to getting pictures, my girls were not going to cooperate for that. Their numbers were their age.

Notice she only has one shoe on. She hates shoes. She also wouldn't leave her hat on.

                        This is a better one of the patches            Look at this little doll. I wish I had
                                                                                                               her hair.

                                          I had to add this picture. These two are best friends.

After all our parties and pictures, the girls got to go trick or treating with Daddy. They were pretty tired though and didn't last very long. But thats ok because that meant I got to watch Harry Potter with Trevon and no interruptions.

What were your kids for Halloween? Or you, if you dressed up! I want to see pictures.